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10th September - OP Day

So the day has finally arrived. I had already spoken to my son about what happens if I don't survive and a tearful verbal explanation to him about the assets I had and how they were to be split up (I didn't tell him everything about my assets, they would discover those upon my death)

So just to be clear, from day 1 I have had a very positive mental attitude about this whole situation. You will discover the power of that later on my recovery. So although I was very confident I would get through the operation, there's always going to be a tiny bit of you that wonders "what if" and I think that is perfectly normal for anyone to have that thought.

 So after not much sleep, here I was laid on my bed about 5am thinking of the operation, thinking of the noises I was hearing around the ward and down the corridor. Taking sips of water even before 6am isn't a bad thing and I wasn't particularly thirsty anyway, I was just sleep deprived! So during the morning, I think I had reduced medication, for instance less blood thinners because of the op, Nurse came round and told me I would have a pre-med before the operation (I didn't get a choice) about an hour before the operation. Consultant came later in the morning to discuss the operation and what he would be doing (think it might have been the registrar to be honest) and he told me that I had been very lucky. Am guessing he was saying that I had been lucky to survive the heart attack as the artery was critically narrow, but he didn't say that in particular, he was generalising I think for me to be in this position 9 days later after a heart attack having a bypass. I am really not sure what he meant by the comment, but all the time leading up to this point, I had said the same thing over and over again in my head anyway. I am lucky to be here and very grateful for an operation that would fix my problem and give me many years of life ahead of me. How very lucky we all are to have an NHS and the people that chose this path as their career. Amazing people.

 As time is moving on, people have munched on their breakfast (I wasn't jealous at all) but every hour or so I was taking tiny sips of water, just to wet the lips and ease my dry throat. It felt like a long morning waiting for my operation, I think it was delayed by an hour or two as lunchtime came and still I was on the ward. Perhaps there was a complication in surgery for the person before me? I didn't want to think about that. 

Anyway, not long after lunchtime, the nurse came in, put a cannula into my arm and gave me some pre-med. Not sure what it was but she said I would soon start feeling drowsy and relaxed. Ok I thought, and waited for the swimmingly lovely feeling to envelope me in its medication..... 30mins later, I remember saying to the nurse, I don't feel any different, its having no effect. She said something, I can't remember what it was now...... but I must have closed my eyes and that's the very last thing i remember for 2 days!!!

Day 24

Today was a lovely walk at Badbury Rings. Last time I went there was the year before and it was a bitterly cold day. Today was much warmer but a very brisk wind so my thermal hat was firmly on!!

So if you are unfamiliar with Badbury Rings, there is evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman occupation at Badbury. However, the site is known mostly for its Iron Age hill fort with its three rings. It is thought the inner most ring dates from around 500 - 600 BC.

A number of tribes settled at Badbury Rings. Among them were the Durotriges – a Celtic tribe who lived in parts of the South West of England prior to the Roman occupation of 43 AD. 

These rings are around 20 feet high and steep (as you would expect from a fortification). The walk up to the top of the fortification is a slight slope, its actually not that slight and its quite long. Last year I was out of puff when I got to the top apparently. Today, slightly out of breath for someone who had a major operation a month ago. Not bad going at all and very pleased that there was no pain, no sign of the heart screaming to get out of my chest and because I am a non-smoker now, the lungs were clear and not an issue at all. This is going well, and I am very eager to go further (which at this stage I could easily do) but my cardiac rehab nurse has indicated to think about what the heart has gone through and its still in the process of getting over the shock of major surgery. So i need to rein in my eagerness for another couple of months, but then I will be running anyway, so the long walks will be absolutely fine to do.

For those reading this that have had surgery or are going to be having surgery, do not fear what comes after the operation. In a short space of time you will recover and you will be doing what you used to do but a bit more slowly to start with. Its all very possible with the right positive mental attitude and determination. I am getting there, and theres no reason for you not to either.


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